Using Thai security concerns as an excuse, the Teachers’ Council of Thailand (TCT) has announced (on 5th August 2014) that they will be setting up a database of foreign teachers in Thailand. Meanwhile The National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) has voiced concerns about the granting of licenses to foreign teachers.
The TCT database is expected to include teacher details including the school where they are working, their visas, qualifications and so on. This comes in advance of the AEC setting up next year which is expected to bring many, many, more English teachers into the country. (The Asean Economic Community or AEC is essentially a free trade & movement agreement in Asia and will come into force in late 2015.)
The database move is expected to hit the large number of “illegal” teachers in Thailand who are working without the proper visa or qualifications and teachers in Thailand are questioning what should be done next.
Many of these teachers do not have the correct working visa, either because their school finds the cost of getting one too expensive or because the teachers themselves are under-qualified for the job. This has led to the common practice of “visa runs” where teachers nip across the border into neighboring Cambodia and return on a renewed tourist visa for another 30 day stay.